Eight Lessons in Productivity and Brainstorming from the New Beatles Documentary

There are a few scenes in the new BEATLES documentary where they clash and butt heads.  But someone singled out the parts where they power through, stay creative, and help each other out.  Here are eight lessons in productivity and brainstorming you can take away from the movie . . .

1.  The “yes and” rule.  It’s the first rule of improv.  Instead of “no,” say “yes” and try to add something.  George fails at it when he gets too negative while they’re trying to figure out the song, “Don’t Let Me Down”.  So John and Paul stop him.  They basically say don’t shoot stuff down unless you’ve got something better.

2.  Keep going, but know when it’s time to stop.  There’s a scene where they keep trying to hammer out “Let It Be”.  But Paul realizes they’re burnt out on it, and suggests they move on to something else for a while.

3.  One conversation at a time.  Maybe it’s because of the editing, but there aren’t a lot of scenes where they interrupt each other.  They’re mostly polite and let people finish.

 4.  Embrace happy accidents.  They’re working on George’s song “All Things Must Pass” . . . which he ended up releasing on his own . . . and John says the line, “A WIND can blow those clouds away” would be better as a “MIND” can blow them away.

It may have partly been because George’s handwriting made it look like the word “mind.”  But he ultimately ran with it, and changed the lyric because he liked it better.

 5.  Don’t pass judgement too quickly.  There are lots of scenes where they just try stuff without expectations.  They do it to see what happens, and wait until later to judge whether it’s good or not.  Then they make changes where they need to.

6.  Don’t be scared to look silly, or even stupid.  They toss lots of ideas around, and a lot of them are bad.  But some of them end up leading to GOOD ideas.

 7.  Don’t forget to eat.  There are lots of scenes where they stop to have tea and toast.  Sometimes a small break like that lets you shift your focus, so new ideas emerge.

8.  If other people don’t like an idea, let it go.  The director of the original movie they were making in 1969 really wanted to do their last concert in a big outdoor venue in Tripoli.  And he KEPT bringing it up, even after they rejected it.  They eventually performed on the roof of Apple Records, and the rest is history.

 (Medium)